In a word, yes. Bug tracking software will help speed up development error resolution.
But the software doesn’t actually make the squashing of the bugs itself faster. It makes identifying, remembering, and prioritizing the bugs (and enhancements) faster and more efficient, which speeds the entire software development process.
Let’s dive into how and why this works so well for clients and developers alike.
A central storehouse
One reason bug tracking software (or any formal database designed to be collaborative) works so well is that it provides a centralized location where all bugs can be stored.
Generally, bugs in a software development project will be coming from three distinct sources, depending on where the project is in development:
- The client
- The development team’s testing department
- The beta users
With bugs coming in from multiple sources at multiple times, it save a tremendous amount of time and headache to have a formal system set up that allows all contributors to input bug details independently, but that also allows for collaboration, discussion, dynamic updating, and prioritization along with task assigning. This will allow bugs to be captured in detail from whatever source identifies them, and then filtered through a systematic process to ensure that duplicate efforts are avoided, mission critical bugs are prioritized, and developers are assigned based on their experience and expertise.
Without a centralized database for tracking and resolving bugs, you can imagine how chaotic it could be fielding all of these separate sources, opinions, and priorities and trying to accomplish anything of value.
Client oversight, developer insight
A solid issue tracking software combined with a strategic process allows both the client and the developer to apply their strengths to bug resolution efforts.
The developer can review incoming bugs and determine with a fair amount of accuracy how much time and effort (and therefore money, potentially) could be required to accomplish the bug resolution or feature enhancement being requested. The client’s in-depth knowledge of how their own business systems function and what goals they have for the software can help inform how high a priority each bug should receive and whether a strict timeline needs to be attached to resolution.
These capabilities can, in themselves, streamline the process by ensuring everyone goes into each resolution activity with a full understanding of what should worked on next, how long it will take, and what is required of everyone involved.
Collaboration and conversation
As touched on earlier, bug tracking software that includes collaborative features like commenting, instant messaging, and the like can be extremely helpful in ironing out little misunderstandings or needs for clarification. Since bugs are being identified by both software professionals and others with a less tech-savvy background, everyone won’t always “speak the same language.” It’s important to be able to quickly clarify details before investing time and effort into a potential fix.
Collaboration functionality also allows clients to adjust priorities on the fly if necessary, further streamlining the process by ensuring the most important resolutions are being handled at any given time.
The specific bug tracking software doesn’t matter
Here at CSPreston, we happen to use Teamwork as our project management suite of choice, and so it naturally works perfectly as our official bug tracking software as well. It includes all the necessary functionality so that both we and our clients can always stay on top of bug resolution and keep our development projects running smoothly regardless of what occurs.
But the specific tracker or database you choose to use really doesn’t matter, as long as it accomplishes the basic purpose of bug tracking software: to organize incoming suggestions and facilitate an efficient process for resolving them. Based on your circumstances, there are a ton of different applications that can fit that bill.
So, in closing, will a bug tracker actually help developers squash bugs faster?
Yes. By making all the organization and prioritization as easy as it can be, allowing developers to do what they do best: fix the bugs and make great software.